Title: Boneshaker (Clockwork Century #1)
Author: Cherie Priest
In the early days of the Civil War, stories of gold in the Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to find the gold, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a machine that could mine through ice. On its first test run, the machine went awry, unearthing a vein of blight gas under downtown Seattle. The gas turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead. A wall was erected around the toxic part of the city. Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes, lives outside the wall with her son Ezekiel (Zeke). Life is hard, but Briar can manage – until Zeke goes under the wall in an attempt to rewrite history.
This is one of the few books I didn’t finish. I gave it a hundred pages to make me want to keep reading, and it didn’t. I hate it when I get all excited about reading a book and it turns out to be not very good.
I picked it up on the premise of zombies, looking forward to reading a good adventure. What I got was a slow story about an crazy boy who goes into the heart of zombieland to prove that the zombies aren’t his father’s fault. And to make it worse, his mom is trying to save him.
What kind of zombie adventure story has the hero’s mommy come after him?
The characters I didn’t really have a problem with, although I do think Zeke was a little too impulsive. My problem was with the plot. Boy goes into an area teeming with zombies to prove that his dad (who caused the zombie problem in the first place) is innocent, and his mom has to go save him? Come on. What kind of adventure story is that? Who wants the main character’s mom to save him?
The plot could have been much improved if Briar had stayed home and not played such a big part in the story. If it had focused on Zeke, I might have actually cared how it ended.
I’ve seen some blogs rave about this story, about how it explores the bond between a mother and son and all that. I didn’t really see that. But then, I was focusing on how disappointed I was that it wasn’t a zombie-action-adventure story.